Current Weather
The Spy FM

Abducted Nationals Player Rescued In Venezuela

Filed by KOSU News in World News.
November 11, 2011

Venezuelan police rescued Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos on Friday, two days after he was kidnapped, officials announced.

Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami said on state television that 24-year-old Ramos was “safe and sound” and that he was rescued by police.

It was unclear why he was released — or if a ransom was paid.

Information Minister Andres Izarra initially announced the news on Twitter, saying: “The baseball player Ramos found alive by security forces in mountainous zone.”

Armed men seized Ramos at gunpoint Wednesday night outside his home in a working-class neighborhood in the city of Valencia, setting off a nationwide search in a country hard hit by kidnappings.

The family huddled with police, awaiting demands from the suspected kidnappers.

Authorities said Thursday that they had found a stolen SUV used by the kidnappers abandoned in a nearby town.

The abduction was the first known kidnapping of a major league baseball player in a country that has dozens of players on big league rosters in the U.S., and it brought a renewed focus on worsening violent crime in Venezuela. More than 1,000 people have been kidnapped in the country this year.

Security has increasingly become a concern for Venezuelan players and their families as a wave of kidnappings has hit the wealthy as well as the middle class.

Bodyguards typically shadow major leaguers when they return to their homeland to play in Venezuela’s winter baseball league, but it was unclear what precautions, if any, Ramos was taking while at his family’s home.

Major League Baseball officials said it was the first kidnapping of a major leaguer that they could recall.

Fans in both Venezuela and Washington had held candlelight vigils and prayed for his safe release.

NPR’s Juan Forero contributed to this report, which contains material from The Associated Press [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

5AM to 9AM Morning Edition

Morning Edition

For more than two decades, NPR's Morning Edition has prepared listeners for the day ahead with two hours of up-to-the-minute news, background analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports.

Listen Live Now!

9AM to 10AM The Takeaway

The Takeaway

A fresh alternative in morning news, "The Takeaway" provides a breadth and depth of world, national and regional news coverage that is unprecedented in public media.

View the program guide!

10AM to 11PM On Point

On Point

On Point unites distinct and provocative voices with passionate discussion as it confronts the stories that are at the center of what is important in the world today. Leaving no perspective unchallenged, On Point digs past the surface and into the core of a subject, exposing each of its real world implications.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center